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Mailbag: Veterans deserve affordable housing

July 20, 2010

In 1977, I returned home from the Air Force as a disabled veteran, beat down and almost helpless at the age of 21.

I began an incredible journey through red tape, poverty and doors slammed in my face. I was never told "welcome home," and I feel unwelcome as of today. I begged for help as I struggled to support myself, my wife and two sons.

I was told that the veterans disability compensation I received made me ineligible for assistance. I tried to hold down more than 50 jobs. I never did adjust to civilian life. I never received unemployment and worked disabled for many years.

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I have been in Glendale for more than 20 years and have lived in borderline poverty from the day I left the Air Force. I understand there are many poor people here in Glendale. I think that all people are created equal, but at the same time, it is only right to take care of military veterans and put them at the front of a long list for affordable housing ("Vets to front of housing queue?" July 16).

Arden Lawrence

Glendale

Najarian's stance is surprising

I was very disappointed to read in the Glendale News-Press that our mayor, Ara Najarian, a registered Republican, was reported to be in staunch opposition to putting military veterans at the front of the long waiting list for affordable housing in Glendale ("Vets to front of housing queue?" July 16).

His rationale: It could create a major backlash from the thousands of people already in line. Yes, this may be accurate.

Perhaps we all need to remind our Republican mayor that "freedom isn't free." What we owe our veterans and their families is immeasurable. A front-of-the-line pass in grateful recognition of our veterans' service and sacrifice to our country is much less than they deserve, but is all we can offer at this time.

Please tell your family and friends to be vigilant and ready to go to the City Council meeting to speak vehemently in support of putting our military veterans at the front of the affordable-housing line in Glendale because freedom is not free.

Lenore Solis

Glendale

Bridge to Griffith Park is a great idea

A number of communities are finding ways to reclaim the Los Angeles River, creating recreational opportunities where little or none currently exists. Glendale Narrows Riverwalk is a prime example of how a city can improve and use the areas next to the river.

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